In what is possibly the worst film news story to hit in a long, long time, Guillermo del Toro has stepped down from directing The Hobbit. In a joint statement with producer Peter Jackson, he expressed regret at what he described as ‘the hardest decision of his life’. Due to increased uncertainty over when The Hobbit can get made and who will pay for it, Del Toro has simply run out of time to direct the film, as other projects beckoned. It’s a crushing blow for many Tolkein fans, as Del Toro could have given a unique energy to the films, and his creature design would have been something spectacular.
He is reportedly still staying on in some capacity, finishing the script and contributing his ideas to the next director who comes on board. But for now, we must weep and say goodbye to The Hobbit that could have been. Jackson was understanding about it in the joint statement, and also full of praise for the Mexican director, saying ‘Guillermo is one of the most remarkable creative spirits I’ve ever encountered and it has been a complete joy working with him. Guillermo’s strong vision is engrained into the scripts and designs of these two films, which are extremely fortunate to be blessed with his creative DNA’. Let’s hope they can find someone suitable to fill the role, although this particular writer is hoping that Jackson himself can step up to the mark.
Source: Empire Online 31st May 2010